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Source: DK/RA-UM/UM, 2-0355, "Konstantinopel/Istanbul, diplomatisk repræsentation, 1914-1921. Kopibog 1914 06 14 - 1916 03 06
Edition: Danish diplomatic sources
Departure of telegram: 09/02/1915
Embassy/consular serial number: Nr. 263
Translated by: Matthias Bjørnlund
Last updated: 03/23/2012

The minister in Constantinople (Carl Ellis Wandel) to the Foreign Minister (Erik Scavenius)

Nr. 263
Constantinople, 2 September 1915. No. 263. Inquiry from the Company E. Nobel in Copenhagen. 2 enclosures [missing].

In a letter of 19 August this year the company E. Nobel, Prinsessegade 62, Copenhagen, has requested of the legation to attempt to obtain a permit for a rich Armenian merchant, Mr. Mikael Missirian, Turkish subject from Samsun [Samsoun] who is presently staying here [in Constantinople], to leave Turkey in order to initiate a journey to Bulgaria and Greece where he is to purchase tobacco for the account of Danish buyers.

The company pleads in its letter, a copy of which I have the honor of forwarding, that now, when it is impossible to import tobacco from Asia Minor to Denmark due to the war, it will be of the utmost importance for Danish tobacco industry that Mr. Missirian is being enabled to procure replacements elsewhere, and it is added that the company fears that in the opposite case the American tobacco trust will inflict competition on the Danish factories to such an extent that they will have to seize their activities.

There are, however, several reasons why the legation would rather not accomodate this request.

One of the reasons is that the German ambassador here [Hans Freiherr von Wangenheim] has already tried in vain to obtain the requested permission at the instance of Mr. Missirian's German friends, which is why it certain from the outset that an official application from the legation will likewise be rejected.

For political reasons the Ottoman government does not allow any Armenian to leave the country at the moment, and so far no diplomatic mission has succeeded in moving it to make any exception to this rule.

The Nobel company has most likely imagined that it would perhaps be possible to request the permission clandestinely as a favor, but its argumentation seems to weak for that.

It will hardly be possible to convince any of those in power here that it is really a matter of vital importance for Danish industry that the necessary purchases in Bulgaria and Greece have to be made by an Armenian who is an Ottoman subject and is being detained here for political reasons.

It will be claimed that it will be easy for the Danish manufacturers to send another buyer to the mentioned countries.

The legation therefore hopes that the Ministry will approve of its enclosed answer which it respectfully allows itself to obligingly request will be forwarded to the Nobel company.

C. E. Wandel

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